Back on track

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Back on track

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (5-3) at NEW YORK JETS (5-3)

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.

The facts and figures for tonight's game:

KICKOFF: 8:20 p.m.

WEATHER: Partly cloudy, highs in the low 50s, dipping into the upper 40s by game's end. Winds out of the south southwest at around 5-10 mph.

NETWORK TELEVISION COVERAGE: NBC

TV ANNOUNCERS: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya

RADIO COVERAGE: 98.5 The Sports Hub, the flagship for the 37-station Patriots Radio Network

RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Gil Santos, Gino Cappelletti, Scott Zolak

COMCAST SPORTSNET COVERAGE

CSNNE.com STAFF: Tom E. Curran, Mary Paoletti, Art Martone

CSN TELEVISION: Mike Giardi

GOING DOWN: The Patriots lost, 24-20, to the Giants last Sunday, snapping their 20-game regular-season home winning streak in the process. New England has now dropped back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 12-13 in 2009 and is looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak since a four-game skid in 2002.

GOING UP: The Jets went to Buffalo and beat the Bills, 27-11, in Week 9 and have now won three straight games overall by an average of 13.3 points per victory. Including a 4-0 mark in 2011, the Jets have won five straight home games by a combined score of 148-61.

LOOKING FOR EVENS: New England beat New York, 31-20, in these teams' first meeting of the season in Week 5. The Patriots and Jets have split their regular-season series each of the last three years.

STILL ON PACE: Tom Brady had his NFL-record 31-game regular-season home win streak snapped by the Giants last Sunday, despite recording his fifth 300-plus passing yard performance of 2011. Brady is one of four quarterbacks averaging over 300 yards through the air this season (Brees, Rodgers and Rivers are the others) and is on pace for 5,406 passing yards overall -- a number that would crush Dan Marino's NFL record of 5,084 yards in 1984.

JERSEY BOY: Mark Sanchez completed a season-best 71.4 percent of his passes for 230 yards and a touchdown (1 INT) last Sunday. Sanchez is 2-0 with a 114.5 rating (4 TDs, 0 INT) in two career home games versus the Patriots and Tom Brady.

SURE HANDED: New England players have dropped just seven catchable passes from Tom Brady this season -- fewest of any team in the league. The Jets have 14 drops in 2011 -- 15th in the NFL.

Beleskey, Spooner and McQuaid highlight Bruins lineup vs. Red Wings

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Beleskey, Spooner and McQuaid highlight Bruins lineup vs. Red Wings

The Bruins announced their lineup for the second preseason game on Wednesday night at home against the Detroit Red Wings, and it was slightly more veteran-laden than the youthful Boston group tapped for Monday night’s opening loss to the Blue Jackets.

Matt Beleskey, Ryan Spooner, Adam McQuaid and Dominic Moore lead the grizzled group of Bruins players readying for the exhibition tilt against their Atlantic Division rivals, and 19-year-old Zachary Senyshyn will make his preseason debut after getting fully medically cleared from appendectomy surgery a couple of weeks ago.

The 2015 first round pick has had a bit of a rough summer after bouts with mononucleosis and appendicitis forced him to miss Bruins rookie camp, but Senyshyn has quickly regained his strength and the blazing speed that's his biggest asset as a player. 

Austin Czarnik, Peter Mueller and Sean Kuraly are the only players from the opening night roster that will be in again to show their stuff against the Winged Wheels, and undoubtedly to get another long look from the Bruins coaching staff. Here is the full Black and Gold lineup for Wednesday night’s home date against the Red Wings with the untelevised exhibition game to be streamed on bruins.com

 

FORWARDS: Noel Acciari, Matt Beleskey, Anton Blidh, Austin Czarnik, Brian Ferlin, Jesse Gabrielle, Justin Hickman, Sean Kuraly, Dominic Moore, Peter Mueller, Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Spooner.

DEFENSEMEN: Linus Arnesson, Chris Casto, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller.

GOALIES: Malcolm Subban, Daniel Vladar.

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

McAdam: Price not exactly hitting stride with postseason on horizon

NEW YORK -- The division title was there for the taking Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. When you've won 11 straight and steamrolled every other team in the division, what's one more?

One too many, apparently.

The Red Sox' 6-4 defeat to the New York Yankees postponed the Champagne party for at least one night. In and of itself, that's not a huge concern. The Sox' magic number remains one with five games to play and the club's epic hot streak had to come to an end eventually.

A better night by either David -- Ortiz or Price -- might have resulted in corks popping and on-field celebrations.

Ortiz was 0-for-5 and stranded a total of seven baserunners. When he came to the plate in the top of the ninth against Tyler Clippard with two outs and two on, it almost seemed scripted.

Here was Ortiz in his final Yankee Stadium series, about to inflict one final bit of misery on the rival Yankees with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth.

Talk about drama. Talk about one more famous, final scene.

Alas, Ortiz took some feeble swings and swung through strike three for the final out. Not even Ortiz, for all his clutch performances, can conjure a game-winner on-demand every time.

A far bigger concern was the work of Price. Perhaps the best thing than can be said of him for now is that he almost certainly will not have to face the Yankees again this season, against whom he's compiled a gaudy 7.89 ERA this season.

More troubling, though, is that Price is not exactly hitting his stride as the postseason appears on the near horizon. In his last three starts combined, Price has pitched 19 1/3 innings and allowed 27 hits and 14 runs.

That isn't the line of someone at peak form at the right time. To the contrary, after a run of outings in which it again appeared Price had figured everything out, he's regressed in his last three.

Most troubling Tuesday was a repeated inability to turn back the Yankees after his team had pulled close on the scoreboard.

Price spotted the Yankees a 3-0 lead, and the Sox finally scored twice in the top of the 6th to close within one at 3-2. But Price quickly gave anther run back in the bottom of the inning.

Then the Sox scored two more times in the seventh to tie things at 4-4. . . but Price gave the two runs right back in the bottom of the inning.

"Very frustrating,'' sighed Price. "It's something I talk about all the time. It's a very big deal. And it's something I feel like I've struggled with this entire year. Whenever you're going good, it's something you're doing very well. And whenever you're going bad...you get a lead, give it right back. . . that's tough.''

It also doesn't portend well for the postseason, where Price, as you may have heard, has a spotty track record.

With some strong starts in the final few weeks, he could have reached the playoffs with both momentum and confidence.

Instead, he's got one more start -- Sunday -- to straighten things out.

Ortiz? His postseason bona fides are set.

Price, meanwhile, has no such reservoir of success upon which to draw. And starts like Tuesday's only reinforce the doubts.